Jeb!’s Last Stand

Jeb Bush, Dubya’s little brother, isn’t going to sit in the big chair, at least not in 2017. With his campaign running out of money and disappointing finishes in three early primaries, Jeb announced on Saturday that his campaign was over.

In FiveThirtyEight’s analysis, “Jeb Bush’s Path To Defeat Began A Year Ago,” Harry Enten gives five reasons for Jeb’s failure, which was unfathomable a year ago, just as no one could have imagined Hillary Clinton duking it out with a 74-year-old socialist (OK, “democratic socialist”) whom most Americans had never heard of.

First, Enten writes, the Republican Party didn’t have Jeb’s back, and with so many candidates seeking the nomination, he couldn’t stand out on his own without strong support from party leadership. Second, he couldn’t beat John Kasich in New Hampshire, even though Kasich entered the race late. Third, voters want “something fresh.” I think Enten misses the mark there; “fresh” sounds like we’re tired of the paint on the kitchen walls.

Fourth, “Trump.” He doesn’t seem to get that, either, but attributes it to Trump’s ability to get media attention. His fifth and final reason is that voters just weren’t that into Bush. No, not even ditching the name of his family political dynasty and campaigning as just “Jeb!” could make him any more appealing.

I don’t know, maybe Jeb!’s path to defeat began 63 years ago. His birth chart is a fuzzier version of Dick Cheney’s; both are Aquarius with Virgo Rising, but chart-ruler Mercury is smartly placed in Aquarius in Cheney’s chart, while Jeb’s Mercury is in fuzzy thinking Pisces (Jebbie’s chart also has the classic astrological signature for mommy issues, but that’s another matter).

Jeb! didn’t choose the best time to launch his campaign, either. The Sun was conjunct Mars, which is quite a good aspect for starting new ventures, particularly when it puts the spotlight on oneself. But both the Sun and Mars, along with the Moon and Mercury, were in Gemini, which rules siblings. Jeb could never get out from under being Dubya’s little brother, no matter how many exclamation points he put after his name or how many speeches he started with “I am my own man.” Gemini also has a reputation for being scattered, and that’s how his campaign message came across.

It’s also clear from this chart that he was going to run out of money, with Saturn in the second house, retrograde, and in the final degree of Scorpio. In modern Western astrology, Scorpio is ruled by Pluto – as in, “plutocrat” – and both Scorpio and Pluto are associated with wealth, power, and influence. But Saturn indicates constriction, and the final degree of any sign represents endings, wrapping up, and doing post-mortems.

Saturn also was retrograde, which has several possible interpretations, but the one that comes immediately to mind is that he was hitting up old friends of the family and donors in their political network. In fact, he had a sizable campaign fund before he even declared his candidacy – for all the good it did. Falling steadily in the polls, the campaign’s answer was to spend more money. Eventually, even rich family friends refused to throw good money after bad. When a campaign runs out of money, it’s over.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore. Jeb Bush speaking at CPAC in Washington, DC. Feb. 27, 2015. Creative Commons-BY-SA 3.0.